ZEC plans to remove over 35 000 names from voter’s roll

by Tulip Charowa

By Shami Makombe

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) continues with the process to remove tens of thousands of names of dead people from the voters’ roll.

In November, the elections management body expunged 22 600 names and has announced plans to remove over 35 000 names in the next seven days.

“35 085 files will be removed from the voters roll because ZEC has been notified that the registrants are deceased. Unless an objection to the proposed removal is received within 7 days of the date of the gazzetting of the notice,” ZEC announced Thursday.

ZEC now says individuals whose names had been wrongly captured as dead have seven days to raise an objection.

“Those figures are not primarily sourced by ZEC, we get them from the Registrar General. Once we are given, we go back to our voters’ roll to remove the deceased,” ZEC spokesperson Joyce Kazembe said.

“The issuance of national identity and death certificate documents is a responsibility of the RG’s office which provides the statistics and figures of citizens that have obtained national identity cards or are now deceased.

“The statistics and figures provided by the RG’s office serve as guidelines to come up with an authentic and accurate voters’ roll. We are going to gazette another batch (of dead people) soon.”

Election Resource Centre (ERC) programmes manager Solomon Bobosibunu commended ZEC’s efforts to come up with a clean voters’ roll but urged the election body to have further engagements with stakeholders to remedy disputes arising with the voters’ roll.

“As the ERC we applaud the stance by ZEC to make sure that the voters’ roll is clean within the provisions of the law. Having put it in the Gazette is part of the compliance that we are always checking out for and that is an important step in terms of ensuring that there no contests that arise around the voters’ roll itself,” Bobosibunu said.

“However, we argue that they should be more engaging in sharing with other stakeholders how this process is undertaken so that we can remove the mistrust, perceptions.”

Yesterday, ZEC said by the end of November 2021, it had recorded 5 647 000 registered voters countrywide for next year’s elections, while 22 600 dead people had been removed from the voters roll.

Zanu PF is targeting 5 million votes in the 2023 elections while the opposition MDC Alliance has a more ambitious target of 6 million votes.

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